Archive for the ‘Naturepedic’ Category

Opinions DO matter!

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

When it comes to buying new and more expensive products, the internet has been a saving grace for me.  I scour various sites and blogs for any reviews I can find so that I can make the most informed decision possible based on my needs and the experiences of my peers with similar products.  Getting actual user feedback on various models and brands, I feel more confident when I finally lay down my hard earned money.

Don’t just take our word for it!  Naturepedic has been working with bloggers for several years and we thought you would love an easy place to see our reviews.  We live in such a fast paced world that anything we can do to save you time in researching our products would be of value to you.

StumbleUpon.com is the perfect venue to provide this service to you.  Each week, we add new product reviews and blogger giveaways to our StumbleUpon Likes page.  We are also adding in all of our past reviews so you can have as many reviews to look through as possible for the products you are interested in.  There will be other interesting articles and press releases about our company that you might enjoy as well.
StumbleUponWhat a great way to collect all of your favorite information and sites in one spot for reading at a later time or to share with your friends and family.  If you like what you read, give a thumbs up and add the link to your own StumbleUpon page.  Be sure to Follow us so you can see when new reviews and giveaways come in. Start Stumbling?

Meet Me at the White House

Friday, April 11th, 2014

(c) wikipedia

Many years ago, I had the chance to meet the President of the United States. The honor and reverence that the Presidency deserves also applies to other distinctly American offices, buildings, and processes. So, when I had the chance to lobby at The White House before The White House Environmental Council, my patriotism swelled and I took the assignment more serious than any other effort. Speaking of serious, I was fortunate to be discussing one of the most serious and important issues facing our nation and our citizens . . . potential reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act.

The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was passed by the United States Congress in 1976. Just to put that into perspective, in 1976 gas was $.59 a gallon, Jimmy Carter beat Gerald Ford for the Presidency, Nadia Comaneci was winning gold in the Olympics, and some upstart named Sylvester Stallone was in a new movie called “Rocky.”

TSCA was supposed to regulate the introduction of new or already existing chemicals. Many have viewed it as a tremendous failure mostly due to the fact that it grandfathered most existing chemicals at the time – while also giving chemical manufacturers a long period of time to introduce new, untested chemicals before the new law took effect.

Bottom line, it is absurd and scary the lack of impact this legislation has had in protecting our fellow Americans. Seriously… is this a joke… our government leaders haven’t addressed the use of dangerous chemicals in our lives and consumer products in nearly 40 years?

Last year, the bipartisan team of Senator David Vitter (R-LA) and Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) introduced legislation to start the TSCA review process. Tragically, Lautenberg died a short time later but there is still activity in Congress to get something done in 2014 with either modified or new TSCA related bills.

Although these efforts are good news, the devil is in the details and concerned citizens should push for TSCA reform that protects consumers. The chemical industry also claims to be supportive of TSCA reform but that should be greeted with a raised eyebrow. The bad bills that are currently introduced could actually do more harm than good. A bad bill supported by the chemical industry could give them tremendous protections, remove concerns about current state requirements, all the while giving them the chance to feign being a good corporate citizen.

newlogoOur company, Naturepedic, is a great story: we make organic crib and adult mattresses. We were founded 10 years ago when our owner, an environmental scientist with a prolific chemical background, went into a baby store to buy a crib mattress for his grandchild. Thanks to his technical science background, he knew it was ludicrous to put a baby on a mattress made with plasticizers, flame retardants and other questionable chemicals.

In a life changing moment, upon his questioning, the clerk stated, “Well, it must be safe or else the government wouldn’t allow us to sell it.” The truth is, there are around 80,000 chemicals in use today with only a miniscule fraction that have truly been tested for their potentially dangerous impacts. Most average citizens have no idea what chemicals they are exposing themselves to and the government has failed them.

The good news is there are some great companies leading the fight. As stated, Naturepedic doesn’t want you or your baby sleeping on a pile of chemicals.

The American Sustainable Business Council is leading the fight to remove harmful chemicals from consumer products. Naturepedic and Lullaby Earth support this initiative. Other responsible companies like, for example, Seventh Generation and Ben and Jerry’s, have also joined with the ASBC to remove harmful chemicals from consumer products.

There are “better” chemicals . . . and there are better ways of doing things without some chemicals . . . and if done correctly, TSCA reform could be one of the most important pieces of legislation ever passed. Congress still teeters around 18% approval ratings. Here is a bipartisan effort that both sides could agree on that would mean everything to the safety of our people . . . whether they knew it or not. Editorial boards across the country need to become engaged and use their influence to let Congress know this is one issue they better get right.

Naturepedic ‘s Eos Customizable Organic Sleep System: Fitting Your Lifestyle AND Up the Stairs

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Naturepedic’s latest certified organic sleep concept the Eos offers many benefits, including customization and ease of ordering.

Eos even goes up castle stairs! (CC Photo, Harlech Danger, used courtesy of Dave Younce on Flickr)

Eos even goes up castle stairs!
(CC Photo, Harlech Danger, used courtesy of Dave Younce on Flickr)

One benefit that might get overlooked, however, is getting your mattress into your room. In some homes that can be a major challenge!

If you live in a five-story walk-up with no elevator, a century home with narrow door frames, or any furniture-moving nightmare of a building but still want to sleep on a  luxurious organic mattress, than Eos has just become your solution.

Eos is designed for convenience.  You can order your Eos online even if no physical store is nearby and mattress components ship to your door by ground.

Now back to that narrow staircase. When your Eos arrives, each layer is boxed separately, meaning manageable weight for even one person.  The support (bottom) layer of any queen sized or larger Eos comes in two side by side sections instead of a single larger component.

It gets easier.

Coiled components are cleverly rolled and packaged so you have a manageable sized box. And don’t worry – when you set up your Eos, coils gently unroll rather than snapping out like a joke snakes in a peanut can. All of this puts you in control.

Should you order a support layer of organic latex, the latex is not only split side by side, but each eight inches of lush organic latex will also be split into two four inch layers for a total of four easy-to-move components.

For the top comfort layer, you select either comfort coils or organic latex and in your desired firmness. A queen size or larger comfort layer can be a single component, but you have the option of ordering it as two side by side components. By ordering the comfort layer in two sections, moving it is not only easier, but you can also order a different firmness for each side of the bed, such as a firm comfort coil for him and a plush comfort coil for her.

Eos - luxurious organics that scoff at narrow hallways!

Eos – luxurious organics that scoff at narrow hallways!

By designing the Eos with your lifestyle in mind, Naturepedic gives you the healthy, organic sleep you want, even if that sleep happens in a stylish bedroom atop a spiral staircase.

 

Flame Retardant Soup

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Do you like soup?

I do. You can put all kinds of vegetable and spices into soup.

When I make soup my kids ask, “What’s in it?” to find out if I’ve added a veggie they’ve identified as one they don’t want.  My youngest has dug in his heels against broccoli and the older one against mushrooms.

They ask because they can’t tell if the offending food is in there.  Do I always tell? No. I sometimes sneak those veggies past them.

Synthetic mattress fabrics can be a toxic soup

Synthetic fabrics can sometimes be a toxic soup

Not too many parents will fault me for my sneakiness. If, however, I was intentionally sneaking really, really unhealthy, even dangerous, ingredients in that soup, opinions would be different.

Synthetic fibers are in one way a lot like soup. A manufacturer can put all types of different ingredients in there and the consumer is probably not going to know.

Take polyester. There are different formulations for polyester just like there are different ways to make vegetable soup. When polyester is being mixed, the manufacturer can add chemicals to change the texture or chemicals to change the sheen.

They can even add flame retardant chemicals implicated as potential causes of cancer / other health problems or learning disabilities.  Flame retardants like chlorinated tris, banned from children’s pajamas in the 1970s due to concerns about genetic mutations but still in many products today.

Even if an added chemical would be restricted (out of more than 80,000 chemicals, the EPA has only restricted six in the past 35 years, and of those a ban on asbestos was overturned!), manufacturers can tweak the formula to form a new, although not necessarily safer, chemical, and again, in it can go. The vast majority of chemicals used in fabrics are untested regarding health.

I’m not picking on polyester. Any synthetic fabric mixed in batches can have undesirable chemicals in the mix.  These chemicals for the most part do not need to be disclosed to a consumer and are virtually unregulated. In fact, if a flame retardant chemical was added to a synthetic fiber as it was being manufactured, a furniture or mattress maker using that fabric can claim NO FLAME RETARDANTS ADDED.  I’m not kidding.

While California is pushing forward with stronger chemical regulations, even if select chemicals do get banned, it will be years before they realistically are out of products, and, as mentioned earlier, other types of similar chemicals not banned could then be legally used.

The bottom line is how much do you want to risk? Because chemicals in fabrics are undisclosed, a consumer has little choice to pick and choose what chemicals are okay and what are not.

At least in mattresses there is a way of avoiding them altogether. A natural fabric like cotton is not a synthetic mix but grown, so it cannot have chemicals added during a manufacturing process. By selecting certified organic mattresses like we sell you can avoid unwanted chemicals being topically added to a fabric. (Unfortunately, non-certified organic products can still sometimes have those chemicals added.)

When Naturepedic formed eleven years ago, we began making organic mattresses not simply to be organic, but because organic was one of the best, most effective vehicles to get to healthier products. By using certified organic materials, we were able let the consumer know what is in their product, without guesswork or games.

Unless you can truly know the chemicals used in synthetic fabrics, the most effective way to avoid them is to select certified organic products.

Otherwise, you just don’t know what chemicals are being added to the “soup.”

 

Naturepedic at 2014 Great Lakes Green Chemistry Conference

Friday, April 4th, 2014

2014-logo

Naturepedic Founder Barry Cik was a panelist speaker at the 2014 Great Lakes Green Chemistry Conference, held in Cleveland, Ohio April 1-3. This year’s focus was “Innovating for Success in Green Chemistry”.

Active in organizations at both the national and local levels, Cik has long been a champion of finding safer, healthier alternatives for companies to make products and conduct business.

Barry_GLGCC

Naturepedic founder Barry Cik takes the podium at the Great Lakes Green Chemistry Conference in Cleveland, Ohio

The conference explored how innovations in green chemistry can accelerate change in the Great Lakes Region (where Naturepedic is based), not just in business, but also in policy and public health and safety. The conference looked at ways to promote collaboration between business, academia, and legislators.

Naturepedic was previously recognized by an award from the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR) as a charter member for its 2025 Safer Chemistry Challenge Program.

The Challenge Program, began by NPPR in collaboration with the Great Lakes Green Chemistry Conference and Clean Production Action, recognizes company operations that reduce the use of hazardous and toxic chemicals by finding and selecting alternative, safer materials and chemistries.

 

Naturepedic Certified Organic Mattresses: How They’re Made

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

 

People love to see things built.  Shows like Discovery Channel’s How It’s Made cater to our fascination to watch finished products emerge from raw materials.

Having an office near the Naturepedic manufacturing floor, I often watch giant rolls of organic cotton, wool and other materials turn into finished mattresses at the hands of talented craftspeople.  Like a sunset, I don’t tire of watching it.

Thanks to agency Flourish Inc. you can spend 2-1/2 minutes experiencing the cool factor of our factory in Luxury Organic Mattresses: A Behind The Scenes Look.  As a result of Flourish’s brilliant vision and execution in creating this video, you can truly get a sense of the craftsmanship and pride that goes into each of our mattresses.

The video is so amazing it earned Flourish a 2013 Gold Addy award from the American Advertising Federation – Cleveland.  Watch it and you’ll see why.

Take a break and step into our factory for a few minutes.  You’ll leave refreshed!

When Does “No Flame Retardants” NOT Actually Mean “No Flame Retardants”?

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

 

Many commonly used flame retardant chemicals are being connected to health and developmental issues.  Want a mattress without flame retardant chemicals?  Get a certified organic mattress.  Otherwise, flame retardants will probably be in that mattress, even if greenwashing marketing suggests otherwise, and you’re going to need to guess what they are.

It's not easy to find out what flame retardants are in your mattress

It’s not easy to find out what flame retardants are in your mattress

Let me explain with a little compare and contrast.

We say “Naturepedic mattresses meet all government flammability standards without flame barriers and other flame retardant chemicals.”

So why don’t we shorten that to “No flame retardants added” and call it a day?  That would mean the same thing, right?

Wrong.

Sure, when WE talk about not using flame retardants, we actually mean what we say.  We mean these chemicals are not in our mattress. Anywhere.

This straight-forward approach is not the case with most mattresses, however.  The loophole occurs with synthetic fabrics.

Now if a mattress maker would take a finished mattress and spray it with flame retardants, the mattress would have a flame retardant “added”.

If the mattress, however, includes synthetic fabrics originally manufactured with flame retardant chemicals, this is different.  Why?  Because the flame retardant chemicals are considered an integral or constituent part of the fabric.  These fabrics can be on the outside of the mattress or in flame barriers on the inside.  Regardless, the mattress maker can state, “No flame retardant chemicals added.”

But, you say, those chemicals are IN the mattress!

Yes, but the chemicals were integral to the flame barriers or fabric from the beginning. The greenwashing trick lies in the word added.  The chemicals weren’t added to the mattress!

Even worse?  These chemicals inserted into the fabric will likely not be disclosed to the consumer, so if you want to know the flame retardant used, you’ll probably need to guess.

Understand, this deceptive practice is not illegal.  I would argue immoral, but not illegal.

How a No Flame Retardants marketing label from some traditional mattresses should actually read

How a No Flame Retardants marketing label from some traditional mattresses should actually read

Who needs it?

But, you ask, why do manufacturers add (regardless of how it’s “added”) flame retardants into mattresses to begin with?  Who needs it?  Well, here is the bottom line – if you didn’t fill the mattress with highly flammable materials, then, in fact, you don’t need flame retardant chemicals!

But most mattresses are filled – to one degree or another – with polyurethane foam, which is a highly flammable material.  Some manufacturers add some soybean oil or castor oil and call the fill “soybean foam” or “eco-foam” or similar, but it’s still basically polyurethane foam.  And, when ignited, it can reach temperatures of 1400 degrees within minutes.

The only practical way to avoid flame retardant chemicals is to use certified organic products to ensure these chemicals have not been worked into fabrics and barriers.  Organic certification requires a level of disclosure that just doesn’t currently exist for fabrics.

Otherwise, you’re left guessing what flame retardants are in your mattress, and your health shouldn’t be left to guesswork.

 

 

Naturepedic Joins “Companies for Safer Chemicals Coalition”

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

When Lisa Jackson took over as EPA administrator in 2009, she expressed strong views about exposure to toxins.

“A child born in America today will grow up exposed to more chemicals than a child from any other generation in our history…Our kids are getting steady infusions of industrial chemicals before we even give them solid food…Today, advances in toxicology and analytical chemistry are revealing new pathways of exposure…There are subtle and troubling effects of chemicals on hormone systems, human reproduction, intellectual development and cognition.”

Jackson promised to focus on reforming the Toxic Substance Control Act of 1976, also known as TSCA, which regulates the introduction of chemicals into the marketplace.  She said “The law and the structure of the law in no way is modern enough or has enough teeth.”

Unfortunately, Ms. Jackson resigned from her position without seeing the reform she had envisioned, and forward motion on getting control over the chemicals we’re ingesting, inhaling and absorbing is currently rife with opposition.

ASBC logoTo spark forward momentum for TSCA reform, Seventh Generation and the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) formed the Companies for Safer Chemicals Coalition. As of the publishing of this post, more than 70 companies and organizations had already joined the coalition. The group has been supporting and promoting passage of new legislation to help protect the public from harmful chemicals.

Naturepedic is proud to be a founding member of the coalition.

A major reason for opposition to reform is the belief that changing ingredients to less harmful alternatives will be cost prohibitive.  The Coalition is working to present a business case that shows other companies that it can be done — and to the benefit of each company, their customers, and the environment.

According to a recent poll conducted by the ASBC, small business is behind making these changes.chemicals2

“Most business owners explicitly support government regulations of the products companies buy and sell, and nearly three out of four support a proposed reform of the Toxic Substances Reform Act requiring manufacturers to show their chemicals are safe.”

For more information, or to join the coalition, see the ASBC website.

Organic Mattresses – No, you can’t eat them

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

We make organic mattresses.

No, you can’t eat them.

Yes, I’m asked that.

I’m not insulted by the “can you eat them” question. The concept of non-food organics has largely not entered the public consciousness yet, but it will. Remember not too long ago organic food wasn’t even being considered by many.

As a kid, I didn’t know organic vegetables existed. Organic was as foreign to little me as fois gras or bidets (it squirts where??!!)

Is this an organic vegetable washer? What's organic?

Is this an organic vegetable washer? What’s organic?

Even after encountering the concept as a pre-teen (about organic produce, not bidets), organic food was confined to specialty stores populated by specialty people.

I never thought about the vegetables from my family’s garden as organic. Those were just vegetables.

Organic as a concept

Now in 2014, organic food has not only moved into the mainstream as a healthy eating option but as a familiar concept.

People now discuss the health benefits of organic food, and these considerations affect buying choices. Before these choices could happen, though, they first had to realize there were different options.

Now they are beginning to realize they have similar options with mattresses.

While all of us spend about a third of our lives in beds sleeping, the materials closest to our faces for most of the night (or day if a night shifter) have been ignored. Why? I don’t know.  Mattresses were “just there.” In the past someone would consider how a mattress felt but not even think about the materials inside or how they might affect health.

mom and baby grocery storeThankfully, an ever expanding circle of people are learning they can get a luxurious mattress without simply accepted materials as a given.

The truth is a lot of mattresses have questionable chemicals and synthetics: PFCs, flame retardant chemicals, pesticides and more. There is a choice to purchase mattresses with or without them.

They exist

Our belief at Naturepedic, supported by our involvement in scientific and environmental groups, panels and discussions, is it’s healthier to sleep on organic materials and avoid many of the synthetics and chemicals that have become industry standards.

This is our business, designed not as a marketing gimmick but built from our core philosophy outward. We believe fewer chemicals means healthier sleep.

Organic mattresses exist, and they are great.

 

You still can’t eat them, though.

Wait, what? Soybean foam isn’t made of soybeans?!

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

 

soybeansI’ll keep this short: soybean foam is primarily made from petrochemicals, not soybeans.  

You might have also have heard of soybean foam as bio-foam, soy foam, and other names combining soy-, bio-, or eco-.

No forest green lettering, or image of pastoral fields on marketing materials, can change the truth: soy foam might contain 20% soy content but can contain as little as 3-5% depending on the product. The rest is highly flammable polyurethane foam made from fossil fuels, processed with harsh chemicals and treated with flame retardant chemicals.gasoline

If a consumer is looking for an alternative to polyurethane foam for the sake of avoiding chemicals, soy foam isn’t the solution.

Sigh.

But soy foam sounds so healthy … and marketers count on it.

The initial green angle for soy foam was on using renewable plant-based resources* to supplement non-renewable petroleum. Mattress and furniture company marketers, however, soon found that marketing could intentionally lead consumers to make seemingly logical – albeit false – assumptions about what was, and wasn’t, in “soy foam”.

With the addition of green imagery and colors, the trick was complete, and the public assumed that soy foam was made from soybeans.

Seriously. Green lettering can make anything look healthier. Watch.

poison

Now look.

poison logo

 Looks healthier, friendlier and greener, doesn’t it?

Look at the labels on soy-foam products: the implication is clearly that the foam is primarily made from soybeans and is manufactured with fewer chemicals.

This is clearly false.

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*You can read volumes about industrial soy crops. While out of the scope of this post, recent concerns include deforestation in Brazil for giant soybean plantations.  More than 90% of U.S. soybeans derive from GMO (genetically modified organism) crops, and as far back as 2007 more than 50% of global soybean crops were GMO.

Additionally, a story  published March 23, 2014 in The Telegraph claims “The United Nations will officially warn that growing crops to make “green” biofuel harms the environment and drives up food prices…” Environmentalists have been concerned about biofuel crops and their environmental impact for some time. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is expected to publish the actual report on March 31, 2014. Read The Telegraph’s article at http://bit.ly/1iwMv3K.